By Chidi Nkwopara
The plant house of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, Heartland FM, Owerri, was last Monday, gutted by a mid-afternoon mysterious fire, which reportedly destroyed property worth over N1.5 million.
Confirming the incident to Vanguard in an interview, the General Manager of the radio station, Chief Chika Emerenwa, said the ugly incident started about 1.30pm and lasted for about one and a half hours, adding that the cause of the fire was unknown.
“We expended all the fire extinguishers in the station, as well as employed all known fire fighting options.
“We successfully brought the fire under control through the dogged efforts of staff and customers who were on ground when the fire was first noticed,” Chief Emerenwa said.
He described the fire as “most unfortunate”, stressing that all efforts to get the State Fire Service personnel to come to their assistance failed.
“We promptly called the State Fire Service and they told us they had no serviceable equipment. They also told us that it was only the Government House fire service personnel that could be of help to us,” Emerenwa recounted with grief.
He further recalled that when they reached the Government House fire service outfit, “they promised to come after about two and a half hours but never showed up till now (Tuesday morning).”
The GM said if his staff did not exhibit a team spirit, the story would have been uglier, adding that a conservative estimate of the damage was put at over N1.5 million.
Chief Emerenwa said the radio had been relying on its standby electric generating sets in the last seven months, following a breakdown in public power supply.